Grilled chicken and corn salad is one of the recipes in 'Sababa.' Grilled chicken and corn salad is one of the recipes in 'Sababa.' Israeli Kitchen Grilled chicken and corn salad is one of the recipes in 'Sababa.' (Photo: Dan Perez)

Grilled chicken and corn salad with avocado-za’atar green goddess dressing

Adeena Sussman, author of 'Sababa,' shares an original recipe that celebrates the flavors of Israel.

  • Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6

This recipe is excerpted from "Sababa," a new Israeli cookbook by Adeena Sussman.

Not a dressing Israelis are familiar with, green goddess is a great foil for a basket’s worth of herbs and avocado, which I use in place of buttermilk to keep it dairy-free. I throw in a little za’atar for intrigue before hitting “blend," and behold – a tangy dressing even the most skeptical Israelis have been unable to resist. I serve pieces of bread, rubbed generously with garlic and oil and grilled, to dip into an extra bowl of the creamy, thick dressing.



  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large ripe avocado, peeld and pitted
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup minced chives
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh za’atar or oregano leaves
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Chicken, corn salad, and bread

  • 2 chickens or 1 regular whole chicken (about 3 pounds total)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Peeled strips of zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, smashed, plus 1 clove, halved
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 1-inch-thick slices country bread or French bread
  • 2 ears corn, shucked
  • 1 small bunch kale, spines removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 head romaine lettuce hearts, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced


Make the dressing: Combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender or the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth, thick, but still just barely pourable, 15 to 20 seconds, stopping and scraping down the sides of the blender and adding water by the tablespoonful to achieve your desired consistency.

Make the chicken, corn salad, and bread: To flatten the chickens, use kitchen shears to cut out the backs of the chickens, then turn the chickens over so the breasts are facing up. Use your hand to press down in the center of the chickens until they collapse slightly. Combine ¼ cup olive oil, lemon zest and juice, 4 cloves smashed garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper in a glass dish or large resealable plastic bag, then add the chicken and move it around to coat in the marinade. Seal the bag. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. Preheat a grill over medium-high heat. Grill the chickens until an instant-read thermometer reads 165°F or a leg comes loose easily when pulled, 7 to 8 minutes per side if using baby chickens, and 12 to 13 minutes per side if using a regular chicken.

Rub both sides of the bread with the halved clove of garlic, brush the bread with the remaining ¼ cup olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. During the last 6 minutes of grilling the chicken, place the corn and bread on the grill. Grill, turning occasionally and flipping the bread once, until the corn is slightly charred, and the bread is toasty and has developed grill marks, 5 to 6 minutes total for the corn, and 2 to 3 minutes per side for the bread. Transfer the chicken, corn, and bread to a tray. Stand the corn on one end and use a sharp knife to cut the kernels from the cobs; discard the cobs. Combine the kale, romaine, corn, tomatoes, and onions in a salad bowl. Cut the chicken into pieces, drizzle the salad with the dressing, and serve with the chicken. Serve the grilled bread alongside with extra dressing.

The cover of "Sababa" features Sussman's creative takes on Israeli vegetable dishes and salads. The cover of 'Sababa' features Sussman's creative takes on Israeli vegetable dishes and salads. (Photo: Dan Perez)

Related Topics: Salads

Recipes from the Israeli KitchenRecipes from the Israeli Kitchen